by Atty. Bruce Rivera
This is not just about the NagaLeaks or the LeniLeaks or all the pro-Duterte rhetoric but it is about freedom of speech that is being controlled by money.
Yesterday, the FB account of WAC (We are Collective) was mass reported and taken down while dummy WAC accounts remain unscathed. For a relative newcomer, the WAC did not yet get a sentimental following to merit a swift netizen action but the network of social media bloggers who know the people behind WAC like myself, rallied to their aid.
At almost the same moment, I was being interviewed by Aldrine Fermin in his radio show and there was a five minute overtime. After the show was finished, Mr. Fermin, in front of me, was confronted by another radio commentator who will air after who I was told was also the station manager.
Instead of just issuing a memo, said station manager berated and humiliated Mr. Fermin in front of a guest. As a result, there was a heated exchange of words that almost came to a fistfight. Now, Mr. Fermin is not allowed to air his show based on a memo by the station manager. Please note that Mr. Fermin is NOT paid by the station but is doing it as an advocate because since the media in general is not kind to President Duterte, he had to take on the radio gig to defend PRRD.
These a just examples of how our positions are compromised just because we decide to speak our minds. There are even FB accounts dedicated to closing down pro-Duterte bloggers just by instituting a mass reporting by troll accounts while we simply rely on the vigilance of our followers who are real people and not robots to do our bidding at a click of a mouse. Sadly, these accounts are up and running.
Sadly, we will realize that social media, like Facebook and Twitter, while they are platforms for expression is also a capitalist venture where a powerful politician can actually infuse funds to destroy ordinary bloggers like myself just because we took a side that is opposite their own.
And while we are defending the side of President Duterte, we do not get the protection money can buy. We only get the support of the Filipinos who approve of his administration and a clean conscience to sleep at night knowing we did not sell our principles.
With this post, I may be attacked next and this may be the last piece I may be able to write about. But this is the reality: if they are able to close me down, it will clearly show that we are being silenced, not by government, not by the people but by greed and tainted interests.